Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
CHARLES E. THING, a son of one
of the California Argonauts of '49, and himself a native of the state of
Washington, was born in Clarke county, October 21, 1859. The father,
George M. Thing, was a native of Maine and went to California via Cape
Horn in 1849, and, after a short period passed in mining, he went to Oregon
Territory, in 1851-2, and subsequently to Clarke county, Washington.
Here he engaged in farming and stock-raising in which he continued until
1876, when he removed to the Willamette valley and accumulated considerable
wealth. He owned a number of stores, loaned money, and engaged in
a variety of occupations. He was accidentally killed near Readville,
in 1898. The mother, Emma C. (Bozarth) Thing, is a native of Ohio,
born in 1842. She came across the plains in 1845, going direct to
Oregon, near Portland, in the Willamette valley, and was among the earliest
settlers of the territory. She was married to Mr. Thing in 1857 and
became the mother of eleven children, of which our subject is the oldest.
The earlier years of Charles E. Thing were
passed in Clarke county, Washington, where to a limited extent he attended
school, but received the principal part of his education at the hands of
his father. When he began the world for himself he became a fisherman
in which occupation he continued three years on the Columbia river.
In the fall of 1878 he came to what is now Spokane county and secured a
ranch upon which he worked two years. Thence he went to the Coeur
d' Alene mining district, Idaho, and for one year conducted a dairy in
that locality. In 1880 he located on a ranch three miles southeast
of the present site of Reardan, containing three hundred and twenty acres.
This ranch he worked until two years ago.
The first marriage of our subject took place
in 1883 when he was united to Ida Stoughton, a daughter of Oregon pioneers.
To them was born one child, Hazel F., now twelve years of age. In
1897 our subject was united in marriage to Etta Gurnee, a native
of Minnesota. She was a widow, and the mother of two boys, Sylvester,
aged twenty-one, and Eldon, aged nineteen.
Aside from a number of eligible residence
lots, our subject owns a ranch comprising two hundred acres of land, and
a substantial fourteen-room house. Some of these rooms he rents furnished
and conducts the only dray line in Reardon. Mr. Thing is an active,
progressive and influential citizen of Reardan and is highly respected
throughout the county.